View Full Version : What's the best way to transition between guitar chords?

July 7th, 2012, 03:36 AM
You may already know how to play a few chords on the guitar - - in order to play a lot of popular songs, that's pretty much all you'll need to know. However, many guitar players struggle not with the chords themselves but with making natural transitions between them. Fortunately, there are a few techniques that minimize finger movement and give smooth transitions between chords. These are the pivot technique and the guide technique. When combined, they produce a playing strategy that can make you sound like a pro. These techniques provide fluid movement between chords and look almost effortless.

The pivot finger technique helps you switch between chords that have common notes in quick succession. Instead of taking your fingers from the neck when you switch chords, leave them on the frets wherever you can, and pivot your hand to move whichever fingers need to be moved. For example, both a G major chord and an E minor chord require you to hold a finger on the second fret of the A string. When you switch between these two chords using the pivot technique, simply leave your finger on that fret (there's no reason to lift it) and rearrange your other fingers around it. This makes a quicker transition and better sound.

The guide finger technique is another useful technique for improving chord transitions. The guide finger is much like the pivot finger, except it works for chords that share none of the same fret/finger positions. Imagine switching between a G major chord and a D major chord. While you're playing a G major, your finger is resting on the third fret of the first string (the high E string). When you move to the D major, you must move your finger to the second fret of the first string. Instead of lifting all of your fingers, simply slide your finger down one fret of the first string while you lift and rearrange your other fingers.

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July 9th, 2015, 12:56 PM
Good suggestions above! I finger a G in a way that save much movement -- and that is with middle on 5th string, ring on 6th, and pinky on first. Try it and feel the ease of going to C, and all sorts of variations of both G & C.
phil via Nokia